C H R I S T  I S  R I S  E N !

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Resurrection Tropar, Tone 4: When the women disciples of the Lord / learned from the Angel the joyous message of Thy Resurrection / they cast away the ancestral curse / and elatedly told the Apostles / death is overcome / Christ God is risen / granting the world great mercy.

Tropar of St. Nicholas, Tone 4: The truth of things revealed thee to thy flocks / as a rule of faith, a model of meekness / and teacher of temperance. / Therefore thou hast won the heights by humility / riches by poverty / holy Father Nicholas intercede with Christ our God / that our souls may be saved.

Resurrection Kondak, Tone 4: My Saviour and Redeemer / as God rose from the tomb and delivered the earth-born from their chains / He has shattered the gates of hell, / and as Master, / He has risen on the third day.

Kondak of the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman, Tone 8: Having come to the well in faith, the Samaritan woman saw Thee, the Water of Wisdom, whereof having drunk abundantly, she, the renowned one, inherited the kingdom on high forever.

Kondak to St. Nicholas, Tone 3: In Myra, O Saint, thou didst prove to be a minister of things sacred: for having fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, O righteous one, thou didst lay down thy life for thy people, and didst save the innocent from death. Wherefore, thou wast sanctified, as a great initiate of the grace of God.

St. Catherine the Great Martyr 

Orthodox Mission

Tropar - Tone 4

With thy virtues, as with the rays of the sun, thou didst enlighten the unbelieving philosophers; and like the most radiant moon shining on those who walk at night, thou didst drive away the darkness of unbelief. Thou didst bring the empress to faith and didst denounce the tyrant, O divinely elect bride. O blessed Catherine, with desire thou didst make haste to the heavenly bridal chamber, to Christ the most comely Bridegroom, and by Him has thou been crowned with a royal crown. Standing with the angels before Him, do thou pray for us who keep thy most honored memory.

Kondak - Tone 2

O ye who love the martyrs, raise up an honored chorus in godly manner; honoring the most wise Catherine; for in the arena she preached Christ and trod upon the serpent, putting down the knowledge of the rhetors.

Divine Liturgy in English every Saturday at 9am.

Catechism after Liturgy.

This class is for those preparing for baptism in the Orthodox Church as well as those within to learn more about their Orthodox faith.  

Inquirers most welcome!

St Andrew Russian Orthodox Church

6465 54th Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33709

"If you only knew how great a blessing comes from the Divine Liturgy, then you would collect even the dust from the floor of the church to wash your faces with it..."

St. Gabriel the Confessor and fool for Christ

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His Eminence Mark, Metropolitan of Berlin and Germany

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Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan

C H R I S T   I S   R I S E N !

As you may be aware, Metropolitan Hilarion fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, May 16. Most of you never had the opportunity to meet him and receive his blessing. He was a true bishop, pastor, father in Christ. He touched the lives of all who met him, which is why he is beloved. Please pray for his repose. May his memory be eternal.

 

We are celebrating the feast of Mid-Pentecost. While we continue to celebrate and rejoice in the Resurrection of Christ, we now begin to anticipate His departure from the earth - His Holy Ascension, a most glorious feast in which Christ, who descended without a body, now ascends in the body and sits at the Right Hand of God in the flesh, the same flesh which He shares with us. The Ascension of the Lord cannot be separated from the promise of the coming of the Spirit, as the Disciples of Christ, being sorrowful at their Lord’s departure, received the promise that they will soon be endowed with Power from on High, the coming of the Paraclete, the Comforter, the Spirit of God, Who will enlighten them in all things and bring into remembrance all that their Lord and Master taught them.

 

This a feast of water. The Lord cries aloud saying: If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and I will give him to drink.

 

Last week we beheld the Paralytic by the pool called Bethesda. This week we see Christ the Lord speaking with the Samaritan Woman - Rotini / Svetlana - at Jacob’s well. Next week we will behold the man born blind go and wash in the pool Siloam and come back seeing, both physically and spiritually.

 

Of course, when we think of water, we think of John baptizing in the Jordan and our Lord’s own baptism at the hand of John. We also recall how Joshua, Elijah and Elisha parted and crossed the Jordan by the power of God just as Moses parted the Red Sea to deliver the people of God from their enemies, crushing the same in the very same water. We also call to mind how Moses, by the power of God, caused water to flow from a rock, and St. Paul tells us that that rock was Christ. But our most ancient memory is that of creation, how the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters at creation, when the earth was without form, and void.

 

These two go together: the Spirit of God and water. Without them there is no life. The Spirit of God is water: He is the water that gushed out of the rock in the desert; He is the drink which the Lord Christ promises to give to those who come to Him thirsty, seeking refreshment, rebirth, cleansing: Life.

 

We all yearn for the Spirit of God, my beloved. We have an innate need, a thirst, for God, for we are created in His image and likeness. We see at the creation of man that, while we are created in the image and likeness of God by the Word of God, it is the Spirit of God which enlivens us, making us living souls. As nothing can live on the face of the earth without water, there is no life whatsoever without God the Holy Spirit. This is why St. Seraphim of Sarov explains that the purpose of our life is to attain the Grace of the Spirit, to become vessels of the Holy Spirit, living temples of the living God. This is why Christ the Lord trampled down death by death: That we might receive the Holy Spirit.

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Upcoming Services

The Luminous Resurrection of Christ - the Pascha of the Lord

Saturday, May 14        - The Holy Prophet Jeremiah. Divine Liturgy in English at 9am. Class. Vigil at 5pm.

 

Sunday, May 15           - The Sunday of the Paralytic. Divine Liturgy at 10am. 

Wednesday, May 18      - Mid-Pentecost. Small Blessing of Water at 9am.

 

Saturday, May 21          - St. John the Apostle, Evangelist and Theologian. Divine Liturgy in English at 9am. Class. Vigil at 5pm.

 

Sunday, May 22           - The Sunday of the Samaritan Woman. St. Nicholas the Wonder-worker. Divine Liturgy at 10am. 

 

Saturday, May 28        - St. Pachomius the Great. Divine Liturgy in English at 9am. Class. Vigil at 5pm.

 

Sunday, May 29          - The Sunday of the Man Born Blind. Divine Liturgy at 10am.

Reminder: We are concelebrating with Fr. Igor and the faithful of St. Andrew's Russian Orthodox Church, - 6465 54th Ave. N., - St. Petersburg, whose gracious hospitality is ever appreciated.

 

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If you live in the greater Tampa Bay area and are interested in Orthodoxy or would like to help in establishing a traditional Orthodox parish in English

please call 727-239-9186 and leave a message or e-mail me at frstevofl@gmail.com.

I'd love to hear from you! 

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Our Purpose

Fr. Stephen Zaremba

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Most of those who come on Saturday morning also come on Sunday, while others attend other Orthodox parishes on Sundays. Some have relocated from other states and are looking for a spiritual home. We have baptized a few adults after a period of preparation, and have also baptized children born into Orthodox Christian families. Truly God is good to us!

Thanks be to God our community is slowly growing. Since our ways are not God’s ways we are traversing an unexpected path, currently serving at St. Andrew’s Russian Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg. It is proving quite beneficial for both our St. Catherine’s Mission and the St. Andrew’s parish. God’s providence is truly remarkable.

 

First a quick word about St. Andrew’s. It is a Russian speaking community. The church is beautiful, the choir is excellent, the services served properly. While most of the vigil and Sunday Divine Liturgy are celebrated in Church Slavonic, English is used based on attendance. The Epistle and Gospel are always read in English and there is sermon in English. If you are familiar with the Divine Liturgy you will feel very comfortable. Fr. Igor and the parishioners of St. Andrew’s have made us feel quite welcome indeed.

 

On Saturdays we celebrate the Divine Liturgy in English, followed by a Bible Study. This started off as quite a small group but it has been growing so that we usually have about 20 or more stay for our class. Not bad for a Saturday morning!

We are a mission. Our purpose is to make traditional, apostolic Christianity, today known as Orthodoxy, available to those who are seeking it. Many are seeking it not quite knowing what it is. If you are looking for God - look here. If you are looking for stability, where doctrines do not change with the blowing of the wind - look here. If you want to truly learn how to worship in the spirit and truth as taught by the holy Apostles - look here. If you are are not sure just what it is that you are looking for - look here. We don’t make things up as we go and we don’t change with the times. Truth is truth. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.

 

The world is going through a time of considerable turmoil. No one knows what the future holds. The Orthodox Christian Faith has withstood the bloody persecutions of ancient Rome, the tribulation of the Arian, Iconoclastic and other heresies, the onslaught of the Persians and Moslems, Communism and everything else that the Adversary has thrown at us through the centuries. But as our Lord promised, the gates of hell have not prevailed. Regardless of what the future may hold, the Orthodox Faith will remain like bedrock unto the Lord returns.

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Now some may think that Orthodox Christianity is similar to Roman Catholicism. While there may be some external similarities, Roman Catholics and Protestants, with their now 30,000 denominations, are far closer to one another than they are to the Orthodox. While this may seem very wrong, Protestantism is a reaction to Roman Catholicism and as such, while they certainly have different beliefs and solutions, they have the same mindset.

 

Orthodoxy is quite different as it has resisted the temptation to be altered by the philosophy of the day through the centuries. Orthodoxy is what is and has been believed by everyone everywhere from the beginning. No change. No compromise. It is manly - men love it. It is not a soft faith. It challenges each believer. And no, it is not too much for women and children. Orthodoxy is beautiful, full of joy and light, gentleness and compassion. 

 

If you are in the area, we would love to meet you. You can contact me at frstevofl@gmail.com or call or text to 727-239-9186.

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The following was a letter to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (d.138AD) from the Athenian Orator Aristides in which he depicts how the Early Christians lived. This is how Christianity conquered the world. This is how it will do so again...

“The Christians know and trust God…They placate those who oppress them and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies. Their wives are absolutely pure, and their daughters modest. Their men abstain from unlawful marriage and are free from all impurity: If any of them have bondwomen or children, they persuade them to become Christians for the love they have toward them; and when they become so, they call them without distinction brothers…They love one another: They do not refuse to help the widows. They rescue the orphan from him who does him violence. He who has, gives ungrudgingly to him who has not. If they see a stranger; they take him to their dwellings and rejoice over him as over a real brother; for they do not call themselves brothers after the flesh, but after the Spirit and in God…If any one among them is poor and needy; and they do not have food to spare, they fast for two or three days, that they may supply him with necessary food. They scrupulously obey the commands of their Messiah. Every morning and every hour they thank and praise God for His loving-kindness toward them…Because of them there flows forth all the beauty that there is in the world. But the good deeds they do, they do not proclaim in the ears of the multitude, but they take care that no one shall perceive them. Thus they labor to become righteous…Truly, this is a new people and there is something divine in them.”

 
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St Andrew Russian Orthodox Church

6465 54th Ave. N.

St. Petersburg, FL 33709